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Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English Literature at Carleton College. After graduation, she taught high school English, then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America. Later she earned a masters degree in Secondary Education (with a concentration in TESOL) at the University of New Mexico. She has lived in many places, including: Brazil, Tennessee, New Mexico, Virginia, the Netherlands, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. Married to her Carleton classmate, David, she has three grown children and six grandsons.
Dorothea began her writing career with a friend, Catherine Allen. Both women were Jane Austen fans, and felt that they could write a better faux Austen novel than those which were popular in the 1980s. Despite the fact that they lived hundreds of miles apart, together they wrote three romantic comedies set in Regency England, under the pen name Catherine Moorhouse. ADRIANA, LOUISA, and DOROTHEA were published in 1983 and elicited excellent reviews. Collaborating again more than thirty years later, Dorothea and Catherine recently revised the Catherine Moorhouse Regency Trilogy and adapted the three romantic comedies as Kindle books. In doing so, they discovered that collaboration is far easier today, using computers, e-mail, and the internet, than it was three decades ago, using typewriters, carbon paper, and the U.S. Mail.
Following the successful publication of her joint venture with Cathy Allen, Dorothea went on to write by herself. The result was THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM, her award-winning novel about the American Revolution for young readers. Named an International Reading Association Teachers' Choice Selection soon after publication, it is read in classrooms throughout the U.S. THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM recently won a first place 2014 Purple Dragonfly Award in the historical fiction category, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published an e-book edition of this book in February, 2014. Over 120,000 copies of THE RIDDLE OF PENNCROFT FARM have been sold since its release.
TIZZY, THE CHRISTMAS SHELF ELF was Dorothea's first illustrated story in verse, which she hugely enjoys writing and reading. She has now completed three sequels: BLIZZY, THE WORRYWART ELF; DIZZY, THE STOWAWAY ELF, and FRIZZY, THE S.A.D. ELF. The Tizzy and Blizzy stories are recipients of a 2013 Mom's Choice Award in the e-book category. The Dizzy book was "Story Monster Approved" in May, 2014 and received a 2014 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention in the Picture Books Age 6 & Older category.
Santa's Izzy Elves stories are available in fully illustrated e-book and trade paperback editions, and as audiobooks narrated by the author herself. Dorothea plans to write a story for each of the remaining Izzy Elves -- Bizzy, Whizzy, Fizzy, and Quizzy.
Dorothea recently finished an another historical novel for young readers, called A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE. It is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991. She is now working on a new novel set in 17th century Massachusetts.
In addition to writing, Dorothea is an experienced actress and singer. She performed with the Ex Machina Baroque Opera Company in Minneapolis, and also played most of the Gilbert and Sullivan battle-ax contralto and ingenue mezzo roles with companies in Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The last time she played a ditzy G & S teenager was when she was 44, which required a wig, contact lenses, false eyelashes, and plenty of make up!
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